Opinion: ASU students should tune in to on-campus live music shows

The Programming and Activities Board provides a platform for students to listen and perform

Ticket pre-sales, VIP packages, merchandise and Uber rides often add up for the overwhelmed concert-goer.

However, there is an easier way for ASU students to experience live music from a diverse pool of musicians without the hassle or expense.

ASU’s Programming and Activities Board (PAB) utilizes funds from students and the University to provide student musicians with opportunities to perform and the Sun Devil community with a way to bond over shared interests.  

PAB enlists well-known artists at larger venues as well. This coming Saturday, February 24, T-Pain will be headlining at Devilpalooza, the annual spring concert organized by PAB — and tickets are free. Students can reserve up to two tickets through the ASU Ticketmaster website.

Students should take advantage of the on-campus opportunities to experience different styles of music and art for little to no added cost after tuition and fees.

Patrick Gibbens, vice president of programs at the PAB and a marketing and supply chain senior, said it is beneficial for students to attend ASU live music events.

“For one thing, it’s completely free,” Gibbens said. “Being able to experience that kind of art and performance and talent is not something you get free very often outside of universities. A lot of people who we get to perform at Programming and Activities Board are students of music … It’s a real treat to be able to even just walk by the MU North Stage and happen to come across that.”

While students do not have to pay any additional fee, all students do pay a student programs fee of $25 — less than the average price of a single concert ticket — which goes toward funding these events throughout the semester. 

The money goes toward providing opportunities for student musicians to perform as well as non-musicians to expose themselves to different art forms. The fee further serves the ASU student community directly by allowing students to come together in ways they otherwise may not.

“Another advantage that students would be able to receive is that they’re able to see their fellow students, which is really cool, to be able to support each other as Sun Devils," Gibbens said. "We’re all really proud of that.” 

With the student programs fee, students have the opportunity to diversify their musical experiences. Since the fee is mandatory as part of every student’s cost of attendance, it would be both a cultural and financial loss to miss out on these events.

“Anything that we here at PAB put on is carefully planned and curated so that students can get the best musical experience they can possibly get,” Gibbens said. “The three weekly music series events that we put on are Jazz on the Plaza on Tuesday nights, Alive @ Five on Wednesdays, and MU Live on Thursdays. We get a new artist every one of those performances for the entirety of the semester.”

Beyond student performers, ASU students also have opportunities to see established and well-known artists. Last year, Devilpalooza featured hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd, and in 2016, country singer Hunter Hayes.

As the largest student event of the year, students across all ASU campuses will come together on the Sun Devil Fitness Complex fields and experience a live concert as a united student body.

“Devilpalooza is definitely something I would encourage everyone to attend and pay attention to,” Gibbens said. “It’s only once a year and it’s always one of the most quality events that we put on. That is due, in large part, to the fact that it’s a university-wide effort.”


Reach the columnist at kalbal@asu.edu or follow @KarishmaAlbal on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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